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Going Bovine (Anglais) Broché – 28 septembre 2010

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Descriptions du produit


In Which I Introduce Myself

The best day of my life happened when I was five and almost died at Disney World.

I’m sixteen now, so you can imagine that’s left me with quite a few days of major suckage.

Like Career Day? Really? Do we need to devote an entire six hours out of the high school year to having “life counselors” tell you all the jobs you could potentially blow at? Is there a reason for dodgeball? Pep rallies? Rad soda commercials featuring Parker Day’s smug, fake-tanned face? I ask you.

But back to the best day of my life, Disney, and my near-death experience.

I know what you’re thinking: WTF? Who dies at Disney World? It’s full of spinning teacups and magical princesses and big-assed chipmunks walking around waving like it’s absolutely normal for jumbo-sized stuffed animals to come to life and pose for photo ops. Like, seriously.

I don’t remember a whole lot about it. Like I said, I was five. I do remember that it was hot. Surreal hot. The kind of hot that makes people shell out their life savings for a bottle of water without even bitching about it. Even the stuffed animals started looking less like smiling, playful woodland creatures and more like furry POWs on a forced march through Toonland. That’s how we ended up on the subterranean It’s a Small World ride and how I nearly bit it at the place where America goes for fun.

I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced the Small World ride. If so, you can skip this next part. Honestly, you won’t hurt my feelings, and I won’t tell the other people reading this what an asshole you are the minute you go into the other room.

Where was I?

Oh, right—so much we share, time aware, small world. After all.

So. Small World ride, brief sum-up: Long-ass wait in incredibly slow-moving line. Then you’re put into this floating barge and set adrift on a river that winds through a smiling underworld of animatronic kids from every country on the planet singing along in their various native tongues to the extremely catchy, upbeat song.

Did I mention it’s about a ten-minute ride?

Of the same song?

In English, Spanish, Swahili, and Japanese?

I’m not going to lie to you; I loved it. Dude, I said to myself, this is the shit. Or something like that in five-year-old speak. I want to live in this new Utopia of singing children of all nations. With luck, the Mexican kids will let me wear their que festivo sombreros. And the smiling Swedes will welcome me into their happy Nordic hoedown. Välkommen, y’all. I will ride the pink fuzzy camel in some vaguely defined Middle Eastern country (but the one with pink fuzzy camels) and shake a leg with the can-can dancers in Gay Paree.



Guten Tag.


I was with the three people who were my world—Mom, Dad, my twin sister, Jenna—and for one crazy moment, we were all laughing and smiling and sharing the same experience, and it was good. Maybe it was too good. Because I started to get scared.

I don’t know exactly how I made the connection, but right around Iceland, apparently, I got the idea that this was the after?life. Sure, I had heatstroke and had eaten enough sugar to induce coma, but really, it makes sense in a weird way. It’s dark. It’s creepy. And suddenly, everybody’s getting along a little too well, singing the same song. Or maybe it had to do with my mom. She used to teach English classics, heavy on the mythology, at the university B.C. (Before Children) and liked to pepper her bedtime stories with occasional bits about Valhalla or Ovid or the River Styx leading to the underworld and other cheery sweet-dreams matter. We’re a fun crew. You should see us on holidays.

Whatever it was, I was convinced that this ride was where you went to die. I would be separated from my family forever and end up in some part of the underworld where smiling kid robots in boater hats sang nonstop in Portuguese. I had to keep that from happening. And then—O Happy Day! Salvation! Right behind the Eskimo igloo (this was before they were the more politically correct but slightly naughty-sounding Inuits), I saw this little door.

“Mommy, where does that door go to?” I asked.

“I don’t know, honey.”

We were headed for certain death on the River Styx. But somehow I knew that if I could just get to that little door, everything would be okay. I could stop the ride and save us all. That was pretty much it for me. My five-year-old freak-out meter totally tripped. I slipped free of the seat and splashed into the fishy-smelling water, away from the doe-eyed, pinafored girl puppet singing, “En värld full av skratt, en värld av tårar” (Swedish, I’m told, for “It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears”).

The thing is, I didn’t know how to swim yet. But apparently, I was pretty good at sinking. You know that warning about how kids can drown in very little water? Quite true if the kid panics and forgets to close his mouth. You can imagine my surprise when the water hit my lungs and I did not immediately start singing, “There’s so much that we share.”

The last thing I remember before I started to lose consciousness was my mom screaming to stop the ride while crushing Jenna to her chest in case she got the urge to jump too. Above me, lights and sound blended into a wavy distortion, everything muted like a carnival heard from a mile away. And then I had the weirdest thought: They’re stopping the ride. I got them to stop the ride.

I don’t remember a whole lot after that, just fuzzy memo?ries filled in by other people’s memories. The story goes that my dad dove in and pulled me out, dropping me right beside the igloo, and administered CPR. Official Disney cast members scampered out along the narrow edge of EskimoSoontoBeInuit-land, yammering into their walkie-talkies that the situation was under control. Slack-jawed tourists snapped pictures. An official Disney ambulance came and whisked me away to an ER, where I was pronounced pukey but okay. We went back to the park for free—I guess they were afraid we’d sue—and I got to go on the rides as much as I wanted without waiting in line at all because everybody was just so glad I was alive. It was the best vacation we ever took. Of course, I think it was also the last vacation we ever took.

It was Mom who tried to get the answers out of me later, once Jenna had fallen asleep and Dad was nursing his nerves with a vodka tonic, courtesy of the hotel’s minibar. I was sitting in the bathtub with the nonskid flower appliqués on the bottom. It had taken two shampoos to get the flotsam and jetsam of a small world out of my hair.

“Cameron,” she asked, pulling me onto her lap for a vigorous towel-drying. “Why did you jump into the water, honey? Did the ride scare you?”

I didn’t know how to answer her, so I just nodded. All the adrenaline I’d felt earlier seemed to pool in my limbs, weighing me down.

“Oh, honey, you know it’s not real, don’t you? It’s just a ride.”

“Just a ride,” I repeated, and felt it sink in deep.

The thing is, before they pulled me out, everything had seemed made of magic. Like I really believed in this crazy dream. But the minute I came to on the hard, glittery, spray-painted, fake snow and saw that marionette boy pulling the same plastic fish out of the hole again and again, I realized it was all a big fake. The realest thing I’d ever experienced was that moment under the water when I almost died.

And in a way, I’ve been dying ever since.

From the Hardcover edition.

Revue de presse

Starred Review, Booklist, August 1, 2009:
"An unforgettable, nearly indefinable fantasy adventure."

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, August 3, 2009:
"Bray's surreal humor may surprise fans."

From the Hardcover edition.

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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 496 pages
  • Editeur : Ember; Édition : Reissue (28 septembre 2010)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0385733984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385733984
  • Dimensions du produit: 13,3 x 2,8 x 20,3 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 327.805 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Format: Broché
All Cameron wants to do is graduate high school - and maybe get a date with popular girl, Stacy. When 16-year-old Cameron is diagnosed with Mad Cow Disease, his life takes a crazy turn. A punk rock angel named Dulcie shows up and tells Cameron there's a cure with a mysterious Dr. X - he just has to go and find it. With the help of a dwarf named Gonzo (who has some mother issues) and a yard gnome who just might be a Norse god, Cameron is off on the trip of a lifetime.

So, I actually picked this up several times and was excited to read it, but the premise just sounded strange - and not like my typical read, so I kept putting it off. Then the Printz committee awarded this one with the Printz medal and I knew I had to read it. I actually listened to it on audiobook, which I think worked well with this book.

It's a trippy book - and it's pretty hefty, coming in at almost 500 pages (or twelve audio discs in my case). It's also a book that won't work if you like everything to work out nicely and not be wondering was this a trip or was this real? It's definitely the craziest road trip book I've ever come across!

I have to praise Ms. Bray's writing and I can see why this won the Printz. The writing captivated me. I really believe she writes boy characters better than any other female author. Cameron read just like my teens at the library - he felt real and his voice was spot on. Just for that, this book deserves your attention.

Even though my knowledge of DON QUIXOTE doesn't go much past the Wishbon TV show version (sad, I know), from what I do know of the story, Ms. Bray gives us a modern twist with GOING BOVINE, and it's a perfect nod to the classic.
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Amazon.com: 163 commentaires
105 internautes sur 107 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Hopeful and Hilarious 28 septembre 2009
Par Teen Reads - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
GOING BOVINE, Libba Bray's surprising and unconventional new novel, is one of those books that seems impossible to explain. Doing so, however, is my job, so here it goes. Cameron Smith is the kind of kid you probably never noticed during high school (unless you, like him, were lighting up joints in the school bathroom). He is scraping by in his classes, not interested in college, and suffers from constant and disappointing comparisons to his perky, preppy twin sister Jenna. Basically, Cameron is on a slow but uncontrollable skid to nowhere.

That is, until his recent bouts of uncontrolled behavior and terrifying visions are revealed to be caused not by drug use (as his parents suspect) but by Creutzfeldt-Jakob's, better known as mad cow disease. Basically, the tissue in his brain is breaking down, turning into a spongy mess (and apparently also letting in armor-clad wizards and threatening pillars of flame). Pretty soon, Cameron is finding himself poked and prodded, stuffed into hospital beds and down MRI tubes, with a terminal diagnosis and the horrible realization that he might be about to die without ever having lived.

Guided only by cryptic clues from an elusive (and strangely attractive) punk rock angel named Dulcie and accompanied by a hypochondriac dwarf named Gonzo, Cameron sets off on a road trip/wild goose chase to find the enigmatic Dr. X, a physicist who disappeared as if into thin air years ago. According to Dulcie, Dr. X holds both the potential to destroy the entire world and the ability to cure Cameron's disease. Joined along the way by a (nearly) indestructible talking yard gnome who might be the incarnation of the Norse god Balder, aided by drunken frat boys and a Portuguese warbler and a visionary jazz man, Cameron's trip culminates in what might be the world's wackiest spring break. By turns hilarious and tragic, GOING BOVINE above all will keep readers guessing, as they must unravel what is real, what is a dream, and whether any of that really matters.

Up until now, Libba Bray has been best known as the author of the Victorian supernatural romance trilogy started with A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY. She is certainly in no danger of being typecast with her follow-up to those books, however; here she's channeling Douglas Adams and Kurt Vonnegut rather than Charlotte Brontë. GOING BOVINE is simultaneously perplexing and absorbing, the kind of novel that will have readers laughing in delight, not only at Balder's one-liners but also at the kinds of absurd, amazing, seemingly random connections that tie everything together. Physics, philosophy and fantasy collide on Cameron's journey, a road trip whose destination is both inevitable and somehow unexpected. The ending is sobering and entirely satisfactory, and challenges not only assumptions about narrative structure and voice but also larger questions about life, death and everything in between. GOING BOVINE is both hopeful and hilarious, the kind of novel in which hope, hilarity and wonder drive side by side.

--- Reviewed by Norah Piehl
22 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Quite Entertaining 1 octobre 2009
Par Bella - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
As a big fan of the Gemma Doyle trilogy, I was excited when I found out that Libba Bray was writing another novel.
I read the sample chapter on her website a couple of months ago, and I admit I was a little worried -- sure, Bray could very well write in the voice of a troubled girl growing up in the Victorian era quite well, but could she handle a teenaged boy?

Well, after reading the book, I learned that she was able to write in such a voice quite well -- though I think perhaps she could have toned it down a bit (ie, using words like suckage, throwing in "somewhat slang" when perhaps it wasn't necessary -- though, of course, I am not a teenaged boy; maybe they really do talk/think that way?)

Going Bovine was extremely entertaining. I really felt myself caring for Cameron, even if he was sort of the loser type. I especially enjoyed the interlocking bits of reality among all of the chaos in Cameron's head -- they were very sobering, and at times, very touching (ie, when Cameron's mother is at his bedside, and he squeezes her hand to let her know that he can hear her)

The ending, naturally, posed a lot of questions similar to those that you'd have after watching the Wizard of Oz -- was anything real? Cameron certainly seemed to be "thinking" clearly throughout his entire adventure, so it sort of makes you wonder what the story is with that -- it just can't simply be that everything was a delusion! (And whatever happened to Gonzo?!)

I do wish Cam's relationship with Dulcie had been formed a little better -- it was missing that quality that say, Gemma and Kartik had in their relationship. I feel like I really didn't know Dulcie much at all -- sure, she seemed sweet, but who is she? What is her character like? I really think there could have been more done to create a stronger character -- and a stronger book overall. I think it was Dulcie's "mysterious" quality that made the book feel a tiny bit empty for me -- like something big was missing to tie it all together.

One more thing -- I would certainly not say this book is for ages 14 and up. I think it should be around 16/17+, as it does deal with some pretty mature topics.

Overall, fun book, definitely worth the read!
16 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
How Now Mad Cow 27 janvier 2010
Par Jack Baker - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Going Bovine is written from the viewpoint of Cameron Smith, a decidedly average high school student. His life is pretty boring at the start of the book: he's a social misfit with an incredibly popular twin sister, his parents are both teachers who can't understand why he's underachieving, and he has no friends aside from a few stoners and the clerk of the record shop he frequents. His life changes when he starts having strange visions and begins having difficulty controlling his body. Cameron learns that he has Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human form of mad cow disease, for which there is no cure. While in the hospital, Cameron is visited by an angel with pink hair and combat boots named Dulcie. Dulcie tells him that his disease has been caused by a wizard and that the same forces destroying his brain will also destroy the world. Dulcie tells him that if he can find Dr. X, he can be cured and save the world in the process.

On his quest, Cameron encounters all sorts of odd people: Gonzo, a Mexican-American dwarf from his high school, a garden gnome who's really a Norse god, a happiness cult, a New Orleans jazz musician, physicists, an Inuit rock band, and others who either help or hinder his mission. His journey takes him from his Texas hometown to New Orleans and Florida.

Bray gives Cameron a very believable voice and has created a pop culture manifesto with the crazy world he inhabits. Going Bovine is packed full of fun weirdness, but is also a soul searching journey as Cameron discovers that there is more to living than simply being alive. One of the best books I've read in quite a while, I would recommend Going Bovine to anyone, despite its being billed as a young adult novel.
43 internautes sur 55 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Surreal Surrealism 10 janvier 2010
Par Ivory Jameston - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Before I say anything else: the reason I gave this book a 2* is very closely related to my personal taste. I like "surrealism" if it is put forth in a realistic way, whereas here, it was not. Hence the very low rating.

Also: ***************SPOILERS****************

The premise was excellent, and I was super-excited when I first started to read it--I love reading paranormal books with medical/scientific undertones. Furthermore, Cameron's voice is clear, witty, rather assholian, but overall very endearing. I felt like I instantly "clicked" with him, right from page 1. This feeling remained constant throughout my perusal of the novel, but several other factors hampered my appreciation.

As soon as Libba Bray began to introduce "fantastic" elements into the novel, I could feel my heart sinking into my socks. From Cameron's first encounter with the "fire giants," I couldn't shake off the feeling that everything happening to him was a hallucination, which proved right in the end. Furthermore, because I regarded the fantastical as hallucinatory and "not real," I couldn't accept the magic. I kept waiting for something more to happen, for him to realize that his experiences were the products of his prion-diseased brain, or for the magic to be real. Thus, I read the whole "adventure" component of the novel (which accounted for approximately 95% of the book) kinda like you'd recall a dream. It was so clearly surrealistic, that I couldn't immerse myself into the story through any stretch of the mind. It was just unreal, the characters vapid, the whole "quest" transparent, ghostly, and kinda pointless, since it obviously wasn't going to amount to anything (being a hallucination). The character issue was especially apparent with Dulcie; she appeared in the novel as a mysterious angel, and vanished as one. There was no development or insight into her character at all.

And before anyone can tell me that the whole point of the novel was to explore reality--I realize that. That's why I was so excited by the end (or, almost-end) of the novel, where the Wizard of Reckoning starts debating reality with Cameron, and tells him Cameron's entire adventure was an illusion. I thought, oh finally! Cameron will finally be able to cast of the falseness of the situation he's immersed himself into, and...?! I also fully agree with his conclusion--"There is no meaning but what we assign. We create our own reality."--but what frustrated me was that Cameron's reality was unrealistic. It was flat, undecipherable, random, and unreliable. I read the book really quickly, because I was constantly on the edge of my seat, waiting for something big to occur, something that would tie everything together and provide some depth to the book. Instead, the book ended with the Wizard dying (exactly how Cameron predicted it), Cameron dying (which I expected), and Cameron continuing his adventures with Dulcie in a strange, exploding-particle place. The story locked itself into a neat, tidy, impenetrable circle, and you can infer from the ending that Cameron will probably continue on another haywire, surrealistic adventure.

Actually, this is an aspect that frustrated me in Libba's other novels--though I loved "A Great and Terrible Beauty," I always felt like there was something missing from its magical world. The Realm was faintly defined and sedentary; it simply lacked life, for whatever reason (which I haven't figured out yet). Though "lacking life" wasn't the issue in "Going Bovine," believability certainly was.

To summarize--I couldn't get into the book. The unrealistic quality of its "realities" was unrelatable. The characters felt flat. The book's fantastical elements were put forth in a way that immediately triggered my skepticism (it really reminded me of Alice in Wonderland, actually). So, while I wouldn't say that it's filled with "nonsense," I certainly would contend that there's quite a bit of absurdity in it. Finally, it lacked that big "oomph" that I was certain Libba Bray was working the reader up to. While I agreed with many of her musings on reality, I couldn't derive any satisfaction from the book as a whole.

But, as I said in the beginning: if you enjoy "surreal surrealism," you'll probably like this book. I like books with a solid basis for whatever surreal qualities the author incorporates, and this book lacked that.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
surreal and hilarious 25 janvier 2010
Par P. Travis Millet - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I knew I was getting myself into something truly unique when I opened the pages of Going Bovine and practically fell off the couch laughing after reading Libba Bray's acknowledgments section. Acknowledgments, you ask (skeptically)? Yes. Truly hilarious. That and the cover. And the title. The trifecta of reader hooks and I knew, no matter what, that those 480 dense pages before me would turn out to be one wild ride.

As someone who has perfected the Art of Slacker, Cameron is an apathetic, Grade-A dork who just so happens to also be bitingly smart. He's become a master at doing the least possible in any situation while managing to not draw any attention to himself. But something happens to Cameron that suddenly makes him the center of his family and classmate's attention - he's contracted a fatal (and really rare) form of mad cow disease.

While in the hospital, Cameron meets Dulcie - a punk angel with pink hair and combat boots - who informs him there is a cure for his disease, if he's willing to go out and search for it. Oh, and along the way he just might be able to save the universe too. Sort of a two-for-one deal. Joined by the hypochondriac little person Gonzo and an enchanted yard gnome Balder, Cameron sets off on a cross-country, modern day Don Quixote quest encountering not windmills but a happiness-driven cult, jazz musicians, Disney World, snow globes, and small-town diners.

Sound trippy? In every sense of the word, yes.

This book could essentially be divided into two sections: Cameron pre-mad cow disease diagnosis and Cameron post-diagnosis. Little details mentioned during the first section pop up later during the narrative, turning Going Bovine into not just a discovery journey for Cameron but the reader as well. It's like a giant connect the dots puzzle, spanning from Texas to Georgia with millions of tiny little stops along the way. Wherein nothing is a coincidence - everything is connected.

Like many teens, Cameron truly believes he will have all the time in the world to experience life, to see and do all those things that will make his life worthwhile but in actuality he doesn't. It's not a far-fetched concept and one that is sobering in all it's underhanded and witty observances. Cameron's journey becomes an intricate coming of age/quest tale with an unreliable narrator twist. Which story will you believe? Is Cameron spending his final days in a hospital bed, suffering from extreme hallucinations or is he tearing across the country, surrounded by loyal friends and battling evil?

It's no wonder Going Bovine was chosen as the 2010 Printz Award winner - the committee is notorious for choosing books that are slightly harder than average to puzzle through (like: how i live now or Jellicoe Road). They are also known for selecting books that make parents nervous (think: Looking for Alaska). Although Cameron is one of those narrators you instantly connect with (despite his lack of common ground with most readers), he has quite the foul potty mouth and isn't above making cringe-worthy remarks. Though his twisted chapter headings pretty much sealed his instant appeal in my book.
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